Dad-of-two jailed for running burglars off the road 'blown away' after strangers raise £121,000 for legal fees

30 November 2022, 09:27 | Updated: 2 December 2022, 08:46

Adam White was sentenced to 22 months in jail.
Adam White was sentenced to 22 months in jail. Picture: Picture: Bedfordshire Police
Fran Way

By Fran Way

A father-of-two who was jailed for chasing two burglars and running them off the road has said he is ‘blown away’ after kind strangers raised more than £121,000 for his legal fees in two days…including one anonymous donor who gave £15,000.

READ UPDATE: Dad Adam White says any extra funds on the GoFundMe will go to charity as the fundraiser hits £140,000

Taylor Benford and Ryan Paul, both 25, were armed with a crowbar and bolt cutters when they tried to break into Adam White’s family home in September 2019. His wife Lindsay, 34, and their two children, aged 8 and 10, were also in the house.

They managed to make a speedy getaway on a motorbike but White chased after them in a Mercedes 4X4, eventually running them off the road close to his home in Leighton Buzzard.

They were left with serious injuries including a fractured skill, bleeding on the brain and broken bones.

Taylor Benford and Ryan Paul, both 25, received suspended sentences and 200 hours of community service.
Taylor Benford and Ryan Paul, both 25, received suspended sentences and 200 hours of community service. Picture: Picture: Channel 4

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White, 34, was sentenced to 22 months in prison in February for causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Meanwhile, the burglars Benford and Paul, walked free from court with a suspended sentence.

Taylor Benford and Ryan Paul, both 25, received suspended sentences and 200 hours of community service.
Taylor Benford and Ryan Paul, both 25, received suspended sentences and 200 hours of community service. Picture: Picture: Channel 4

The case aired on an episode of Channel 4 documentary series 24 Hours in Police Custody on Monday night, sparking an outpouring of sympathy from some viewers who were furious that he was convicted.

One person tweeted: “I felt broken for you and your wife. An honest man makes a mistake, an understandable one, but gets sent to prison, while two career robbers go free, I’m so sorry the justice system failed you.”

On Monday night, Adam was overwhelmed with support and said: “Thank you to everyone for your kind words and heartfelt sympathy we have been through an awful lot, it was hard seeing this on TV and with all the messages I’ve received has been amazing and very emotional.

“I honestly can’t believe the public is behind me.”

One viewer even set up a GoFundMe for Adam after he spent £50,000 of his family savings, credit cards and loans to pay for legal fees.

In just one day, the fundraiser has now racked up more than £91,000 – including a generous donation from one anonymous person of £15,000. This morning the fundraiser stood at £77,000 - meaning it has raised more than £20k in just hours.

In a video this morning, the couple said: “Thank you all for watching the show last night. We were a little bit worried about the backlash of that programme being aired but I think it’s gone absolutely crazy.

“I want to say thank you to everyone for the support it’s been absolutely overwhelming. We’re working through everyone’s messages. It’s been emotional so thank you so much.

“Massive thank you to Scott for setting up the GoFundMe page, I can’t thank you enough for the help and support. It will help pay off some of our debt, loans and credit cards and hopefully we can replace some of our savings as well.”

Lindsay added: “We are blown away that in a cost-of-living crisis people would want to help so much so thank you, we love you, we appreciate you all. It’s appreciated.”

Speaking after the backlash, Bedfordshire Police tweeted: “People may have seen the return of 24 Hours in Police Custody this evening. Policing and the wider criminal justice system divides opinion and undoubtedly tonight’s episode will have done just that.

“Our officers work incredibly hard to put criminals before the courts and disrupt their activities, but we know that the outcomes received do not always tell the full story. In this case, there were no winners.

“This episode is an important reminder that people must not take the law into their own hands. Such actions can have enormous consequences.

“The best thing you can do when a crime is happening is to call 999 so that we can dispatch officers to the scene to apprehend those involved and protect the public from further harm.

“We’re committed to improving our response times and increasing our police presence in crime hotspot areas, tackling the issues that matter most to our communities and driving down offending.”

“Policing and the wider criminal justice system divides opinion and undoubtedly tonight’s episode of 24 hours in police custody will have done just that.

“However, one of the roles the police fulfil is to investigate whether a criminal offence has been committed.

“Having determined this, the police are required to build an evidential case to submit to the CPS for consideration of whether there is sufficient evidence and where the public interest lies.

“Taylor Benford and Ryan Paul pleaded guilty to the attempted burglary, while Adam White was found guilty by a jury.”

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